Joe Jackson gives his Pac-12 basketball power rankings for week 13 of the season.
Matchup of the week: Oregon vs. Arizona
Sneaky good matchup of the week: Oregon vs. Arizona State
All times listed are EST.
1) Arizona Wildcats
Last week’s ranking: 2 (+1)
Record: 19-3 (8-3)
Last Week: @ Washington State (W) 63-58, @ Washington (W) 95-72
Next Week: Oregon (Feb. 2 – 10:30 p.m.), Oregon State (Feb. 4 – 9:30 p.m.)
Best Wins: Tennessee, UCLA, San Diego State, Creighton, Indiana, @ Arizona State, USC
Worst Losses: Washington State, @ Oregon
Arizona got back to #1 in the power rankings thanks to a 4-game winning streak (and a UCLA loss to USC). When Arizona is on, they are one of the best teams in the country. They will need consistent guard play if they want to end up winning the Pac-12.
2) UCLA Bruins
Last week’s ranking: 1 (-1)
Record: 17-4 (8-2)
Last week: @ USC (L) 64-77
Next week: Washington (Feb. 2 – 9 p.m.), Washington State (Feb. 4 – 7 p.m.)
Best wins: Kentucky, @Maryland, @ Arizona State, USC, Utah
Worst losses: N/A
UCLA is now on a 2-game losing streak, although they were to two of the top teams in the Pac-12. They only played USC this week, and it was their first loss by 10+ points. UCLA at times can’t get shots to fall, and that is partially what happened to USC. They have a good chance to bounce back this week, and they only have two more games against top teams in Pac-12 basketball play.
3) USC Trojans
Last week’s ranking: 4 (+1)
Record: 15-6 (7-3)
Last week: #8 UCLA (W) 77-64
Next week: Washington State (Feb. 2 – 11 p.m.), Washington (Feb. 4 – 9:30 p.m.)
Best Wins: UCLA, Auburn, @ Arizona State, Utah
Worst Losses: Florida Gulf Coast, @ Washington State
USC got their first true marquee win of the season, knocking off UCLA at home. The win helps their post season hopes, as USC may be one of the only chances the Pac-12 has at getting a third bid.
4) Arizona State Sun Devils
Last week’s ranking: 3 (-1)
Record: 15-7 (6-5)
Last Week: @ Washington (L) 66-69, @Washington State (L) 58-75
Next Week: Oregon State (Feb. 2 – 8 p.m.), Oregon (Feb. 4 – 10 p.m.)
Best Wins: Creighton, @ Oregon, Michigan
Worst Losses: Texas Southern, @ San Francisco, @ Washington, @ Washington State
Arizona State is now on a 4-game losing streak, something that will very much hurt their postseason hopes. After putting themselves in a spot to get a bid, Arizona State has work to do to get in, and that starts with home matchups against Oregon State and Oregon
5) Utah Utes
Last week’s ranking: 5 (-)
Record: 15-8 (8-4)
Last Week: @ Oregon State (W) 63-44, @ Oregon (L) 56-68
Next Week: Stanford (Feb. 2 – 8 p.m.), California (Feb. 5 – 6 p.m.)
Best Wins: Arizona, Washington State, Washington
Worst Losses: Sam Houston State, Oregon
Utah may be the most normal team in the Pac-12. They win games they are supposed to win, and they lose games they are supposed to lose. Their defense has been very good, and it has been tough for teams to shoot well.
6) Oregon Ducks
Last week’s ranking: 6 (-)
Record: 13-9 (7-4)
Last Week: Colorado (W) 75-69, Utah (W) 68-56
Next Week: @ Arizona (Feb. 2 – 10:30 p.m.), @ Arizona State (Feb. 4 – 10 p.m.)
Best Wins: Arizona, Nevada, Utah (x2)
Worst Losses: UC Irvine, Utah Valley, @ Stanford
Oregon strung two good games in a row, beating Colorado and Utah at home. For a team that has been inconsistent, they have had the best offense in Pac-12 basketball play. Their defense has let them down, and they will need it to step up if they want to continue their win streak this week going against Arizona.
7) Washington State Cougars
Last week’s ranking: 8 (+1)
Record: 10-13 (5-7)
Last week: #6 Arizona (L) 58-63, Arizona State (W) 75-58
Next week: @ USC (Feb. 2 – 11 p.m.), @ #9 UCLA (Feb. 4 – 7 p.m.)
Best wins: @ Arizona, USC, Arizona State
Worst Losses: Prairie View A&M, @ Hawaii, @ Colorado
Washington State got themselves another close loss to Arizona, before getting a sizeable win against Arizona State. That is Washington State’s 7th loss by six points or less. They are very close to putting it all together.
8) Washington Huskies
Last week’s ranking: 9 (+1)
Record: 13-10 (5-7)
Last week: Arizona State (W) 69-66, #6 Arizona (L) 95-72
Next week: @ #9 UCLA (Feb. 2 – 9 p.m.), @ USC (Feb. 4 – 9:30 p.m.)
Best wins: Saint Mary’s, Colorado (x2), Arizona State
Worst Losses: Cal Baptist, @ Oregon State
Washington split the Arizona home stand, which is a positive for this team. They have really struggled on offense, but it was enough to get by Arizona State.
9) Colorado Buffaloes
Last week’s ranking: 7 (-2)
Record: 12-11 (4-8)
Last Week: @ Oregon (L) 69-75, @ Oregon State (L) 52-60
Next Week: California (Feb. 2 – 10 p.m.), Stanford (Feb. 5 – 7 p.m.)
Best Wins: Tennessee, Texas A&M, Oregon, Yale
Worst Losses: @ Grambling State, @ California, UMass, Washington, @ Oregon State
Colorado being has now lost five of their past six, and they are really struggling. A team with high hopes coming into the season has fallen and found themselves near the bottom of Pac-12 basketball.
10) Stanford Cardinal
Last week’s ranking: 10 (-)
Record: 9-12 (3-7)
Last week: Chicago State (W) 72-65, California (W) 75-46
Next week: @ Utah (Feb. 2 – 8 p.m.), @ Colorado (Feb. 5 – 7 p.m.)
Best wins: Oregon, Florida State, Cal Poly
Worst Losses: @ California, @ Washington, @ Washington State, Ole Miss
Stanford is on a 4-game winning streak, but three of those wins were against teams rated 200 and below in KenPom. They will get tested again this week going to Utah and Colorado.
11) Oregon State Beavers
Last week’s ranking: 11 (-)
Record: 9-13 (3-8)
Last week: Utah (L) 44-63, Colorado (W) 60-52
Next week: @ Arizona State (Feb. 2 – 8 p.m.), @ #5 Arizona (Feb. 4 – 9:30 p.m.)
Best wins: Washington, Colorado, Seattle
Worst Losses: Portland State (x2), @ Stanford
Oregon State got a solid win against Colorado, and they are much close to being #10 in the rankings than I had expected coming into the season. Although, there are not many positive aspects about this team.
12) California Golden Bears
Last week’s ranking: 12 (-)
Record: 3-18 (2-8)
Last week: @ Stanford (L) 46-75
Next week: @ Colorado (Feb. 2 – 10 p.m.), @ Utah (Feb. 5 – 6 p.m.)
Best wins: Colorado, Stanford, UT Arlington
Worst losses: UC San Diego, Southern, Eastern Washington, UC Davis, Texas State, Oregon State, @ Stanford
California is now on a 5-game losing streak and one of the worst power conference teams in the country.